okay, let's have this negotiation. let's have russia disabled but iran should be excluded. assad says, well, i am willing to be a part of the negotiations but not without iran. to accept the exclusion of iran would be a difficult concession for putin. my impression is that it is not quite there yet. >> woodruff: given that, again steve heydemann, how is the west looking at all this? >> it's happening very quickly. it's a matter of enormous concern. if the regime were to collapse in the absence of a political settlement, the potential for increased violence, the possibility that the opposition now is taking shape entirely is not yet ready to govern is seen as a very serious consideration in washington. however, the question of whether it would be possible for the u.s., for example, to accept a negotiated process in which assad himself were permitted to escape accountability is something that i think would be very hard to sell.